Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)
Chapter 25—Sane vs Not Sane
I was now, by virtue of my vast driving experiences, a freshly minted, seasoned driver. I was a steely-eyed, steady handed, licensed driver (sans whiplash collar). I was becoming unflappable—finally. I was also becoming…more like my dad, but not in that ‘good’ way.
All the anxiety and fear I had from past traumas had not really gone away. Instead, it balled up in the pit of my stomach and morphed into something therapists call “repressed rage”. As long as I was not behind the steering wheel of a vehicle, the rage remained ‘repressed.’ The moment I sat behind the wheel, however, the rage bubbled up not unlike a very active, very tumultuous volcano.
As a seasoned driver, I had my opinions, and in my esteem, they were very good and righteous opinions. People who obtusely lumbered along in my blind spot were idiots (and more often than not: minivan drivers); people who had to pass me just to turn (left or right—it didn’t matter) were dumber than houseplants; Elderly people who drove at glacial speeds (more often than not: with their mouths open) were stupid old farts; and jackasses who drive 4×4’s in rain and snow (splashing and throwing snow everywhere), were, well, jackasses. These people, really got my ire up whilst driving.
One day, while driving with my mom, I encountered all of the above, and within a span of less than five kilometres. I am sure there was steam coming out of my ears proportionate the profanity spewing forth from my lips. I had kind of forgotten the passenger sitting beside me was my mom. I think the resemblance between my father and I proved to be something of a shock to her. She seemed a little pale and….nauseous? I was screaming, swearing, and shaking my fist. To anyone driving past us, it probably looked more like a heated argument between car occupants than an enraged driver and stricken mother.
When it came to rage, I had an example in my father; however, we did express it differently. My dad usually adopted more of a caped crusader approach, while I took more of a brooding troll approach. While my approach was less overtly confrontational, I would argue that it was far uglier than my dad’s approach. My mom was shell-shocked by my behaviour, and once we arrived at our destination (and safely vacated the confines of the vehicle), my mom took me to task in a way I had not seen since grade school.
She berated me until my head was hanging in shame, and tears were rolling down my face. I offered no defiance, but then again, I wasn’t driving so my rage regressed back into its repressed state. I was only vaguely aware of who she was describing. It was like there were two personalities within me in that moment: Sane-Elsa, and Not-Sane-Elsa. Sane Elsa whole-heartedly agreed with her mother, and was equally dismayed. Her shock and disgust were at par with her mother’s. It was she who thought it best to cry and hang her head in shame. Not-Sane-Elsa, on the other hand, felt quite decidedly that her mother was totally over-reacting. Not-Sane-Elsa knew she got a little frustrated sometimes, but really it wasn’t any worse than anyone else out there driving. Not-Sane-Elsa was confused and a little alarmed by her mother’s outburst. Not-Sane-Elsa was relieved when she heard her mother say, “…and I will NOT drive ANYwhere with you until you SMARTEN UP!—Is that clear young lady?” Meanwhile, Sane-Elsa mumbled meekly, “yes Mom”.
It was also Sane-Elsa who got me back on the right side of the law, as it pertained to speeding tickets. I had to hand it to her, she could make a lot of sense that Sane-Elsa. Thanks to her I learned to be vigilantly aware of speed traps, and posted speed limits. I found out that often traffic violations are not often issued in circumstances where the driver is only exceeding the limit by a small margin. Therefore, I committed myself to become a marginal speeder.
In time, my driving record recovered, and slowly the costs to renew my license, and register my car started to return to more reasonably priced premium. I enjoyed this personal progress—especially since I had even more money to spend on my glorious gold car. I also to managed to save some money, because I was planning to repaint this car (by professionals in a shop) in a year or so. My buddies in my dad’s car club all agree that this was a good plan—especially considering I was planning on having that car for a very long time.